Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Best Form Of Gun Control Is A Steady Hand

The mainstream line remains fairly consistent on the news pages but an opposing view is permitted in the opinion columns: the wake of the Tucson mass killing, the bile directed by some, including in Australia, towards Sarah Palin, the Tea Party movement and anyone associated with the conservative side of politics has been disturbing.

Without any self-awareness or sense of irony, people at once complained about the tone of political debate, while placing blame for six senseless murders squarely at the feet of their political opponents.
How unfortunate that opinion writer Chris Kenny, an adviser to the Howard government's foreign minister Alexander Downer, veers at the last from a realistic view of recent events to magical thinking about the broader issue of gun control in the US.

Having just pointed out very clearly that the US is a completely different culture politically and socially to ours, he then makes a call for 'stricter gun control'.

Perhaps he has in mind similar laws to those enacted in Australia which removed legal guns from circulation but romanticised gun culture among young criminals and created a burgeoning black market in illegal weapons that has actually seen gun use in crime increase since the Howard bans.

However, the fact is the US's 'gun genie' is out of the bottle and no among of wishful thinking will put it back.

Reputable studies have indicated over a million self-defensive uses of firearms in the US each year, from actually pulling the trigger to merely showing the gun to make an offender flee.

To disarm legal US gun owners would not only rightfully alarm their historical and cultural distrust of government but also render that million defenseless against murder, rape and robbery.

-- Nick